Mr. BEGICH. Madam President, there is nothing like a good meal in a favorite restaurant to make your day. When I travel to Fairbanks, the second largest city in my home State, I often go to Big Daddy's BarB-Q owned by Harold Groetsema.
There are many good barbeque establishments in Alaska. Barbeque has long been a part of our Nation's culinary history. Few people know that our own Library of Congress holds dozens of old drawings, posters and prints depicting barbecued meats at picnics, high society events, fairs and the like. The Library of Congress has barbeque recipes, stories, cookbooks and books on the history of barbeque. Its collection is large because it is a popular subject whether you like your sauce sweet, spicy or vinegar sour.
It would be hard to pick an absolute favorite of mine back home. I like them all. Big Daddy's southern-style barbeque is consistently top quality. Big Daddy's has won competitions in Alaska, done well nationally and was featured on a Food Network TV show. Maybe it's the secret sauce. Maybe it's the meat. Maybe it's the way he slow cooks over a hickory fire.
Harold and his team are heading to the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest in Memphis later this year. With his skills and dedication, I wouldn't be surprised if they return with a high ranking. I wish Harold and his team well and I know they will make Alaska proud.
BBQ is no simple business. It’s hard enough to create the perfect sauce recipe, learn to properly smoke a pork shoulder, and offer a full list of delicious southern sides like corn muffins, baked beans, and collard greens. On top of it all, Big Daddy has made major improvements to his finger lickin’ BBQ joint on Wickersham Street, just in time for Super Bowl Sunday.
You may have noticed (on Facebook or in real life) that Big Daddy’s BBQ was closed down for a little over a week during a period of “nonstop” renovations. Since then, the restaurant has reopened to the tune of five new TVs (bringing the grand total to 10), a colorful paint job (out with peach! in with butter yellow and fire engine red!), and re-upholstered booths. Plus, a trio of rock n’ roll hogs have staged a major comeback now that their skin color no longer blends into the paint.
“You have to see it to believe it,” Julie Moody, Manager, says of the upgrade. “The whole place looks amazing.”
The “before” look grew stale after eight years of little to no change in decor, says Julie. Nothing was sacred during the renovation. Nearly every inch of the interior and kitchen was scrubbed ’till it shined. Even the seating has a new look—three new circular high top tables now run along one side of the bar, breaking up the visual uniformity of the large, low space.
This weekend, Big Daddy will host a Super Bowl Party that doubles as an all-star menu showcase featuring weekly specials like Wild Wing Wednesdays (4 flavors; $1.25 apiece) and the Bucket of Ribs ($26 for 18 ribs, 2 cole slaws, and 4 corn muffins), which is usually only available on Tuesdays. You can get either of these specials (or both) while watching the Super Bowl on the new flatscreens and knocking back a beer from one of19 handles at the wraparound bar.
Don’t worry—there’s plenty of room for your friends.
We have just finished renovating just about everything at Big Daddy’s from the dining room to the kitchen.
In the dining room, we have painted all the walls and made it brighter and inviting. We have reorganized all our wall hangings to make it more of a theme. We also installed more TV’s, a total of ten so far, with at least 7 different stations available at one time. New flooring behind the bar, cut an opening in the bar so our bartenders can wait on tables without walking completely around the bar. All of our booths have been reupholstered; our waitress station has been totally redone with new flooring.
In the kitchen is the biggest change, with the leveling and laying of high quality vinyl flooring, and new FRP paneling throughout, makes cleaning the kitchen a much easier task. With the painting of the upper walls and ceiling, I’m guessing that we rank right up there with the cleanest kitchens around. I watch a lot of Chef Ramsey and take a lot of pride in the way a kitchen needs to be.
We were closed for 5 days during this project, and apologize for any inconvenience it might have caused anyone. But I am sure that the changes that we have done and the smiles on all our workers faces was worth the wait. We still have new ideas in the works, and new menu items coming. We have put on a new side dish called Brunswick stew, which is a great Southern dish made up of a variety of meats, beans, vegetables, potatoes, cream corn and spices. You will love it, get it as a side, or order a pint and take it home.
Future events, we are going to be participating in the Memphis in May Competition (MIM), hopefully with the help of the (IRT) Ice Road Truckers as the theme for Alaska. We thought this would be a great crowd pleaser with the lower 48 people, maybe get a few drivers to sign autographs.
Well folks, that’s about it right now, we will be opening on Sundays, starting on Superbowl Sunday, 3 Feb 2013. Enjoy any of our daily specials for this special day.
Big Daddy is introducing new daily specials!
Bucket of Ribs Tuesday Rack and a half of baby back ribs, coleslaw, and hot cornbread muffins. Enough to feed 2 to 3 people for only $26.75. 4pm to closing.
Wild Wing Wednesday Whole wings smoked, fried, grilled, and dipped in one of our special sauces. Big Daddy’s Original, Sweet BBQ, Buffalo, or garlic Parmesan. $1.25 each all day long.